AN online Street Market has been hailed a success by founders and participants following its first day’s trading.

Over 50 traders took part in Thursday’s virtual market held on Facebook, selling everything from house plants, paintings, vintage clothing, handmade jewellery, prints, beer, spices, jam and novelty mugs. Over a thousand people joined the Bradford Street Market group and took the opportunity to "browse" the stalls showcasing Bradford’s talented independent makers and producers.

The Bradford Street Market was founded and hosted by Catherine Simes of You Can Take the Girl Out of Bradford blog which promotes events in Bradford and Ursula Sutcliffe, owner of the Plant One on Me Yorkshire house plant shop in Bradford City Centre.

The aim was to support businesses hit by the lockdown.

Catherine said: “The corona virus lockdown has had a devastating effect on many local independent retailers and traders and is taking us all away from our town centres and high streets.

"The idea is to recreate an online market-like atmosphere, where vendors can connect with customers and shoppers can support Bradford’s local independent businesses and makers.

"There's been an amazing response from both traders and shoppers. I was so impressed with the range of stalls we had at the first market. We’ve got some very talented people in Bradford and it was fantastic to showcase what they produce all in one place.

Online market to give independent traders lockdown lifeline

“People seem to have a real appetite to support local businesses and traders and connect online. We wanted to create an online indie quarter to promote the best of Bradford’s independent businesses and an online community/marketplace for them to benefit from a shared online presence and customer base.

"Over 1,100 joined the Bradford Street Market, which for a first day of trading is fantastic. I really hope that support will continue after the lockdown and that people will appreciate the value of keeping money in the local economy.”

Ursula said: “A lot of independents run their business from home so the support for them is very limited. I hope the Bradford Street Market gives them a chance for their business to be seen and used now and after this crisis.”

The Bradford Street Market is an online market ‘open’ every Thursday 9am-5pm where Bradford’s independent traders, makers and artists can post details of their products and services, share their wares and connect with customers. The market 'closes' to new stalls at 5pm, but posts remain open for customers to browse, comment or contact the vendors with questions or to make a purchase.

The next market will take place on Thursday April 23. Doors open at 9am.

Independent retailers, makers and artists are invited to contact the Bradford Street Market if they would like to participate.